Almost a third of Brits say cost of living crisis is impacting their ability to do their job properly

Almost a third (29%) of British adults say that the current cost of living crisis is impacting their ability to do their job properly. Younger generations are the group most struggling with worries about making ends meet at work, with 35% of 25–34-year-olds agreeing with this statement.

More generally, over half of UK adults (54%) say that their work is impacted negatively because they worry about personal issues. Almost half (48%) also said that when they have a personal problem, they waste time at work thinking about it. Slightly more women agreed with this than the average (49%).

Likewise, 60% said they felt somewhat or much more productive when they had recently solved a personal issue. However, over a quarter (27%) said they had made up an excuse to take time off work to deal with a private matter.

Most worryingly, almost a fifth (16%) said that bringing personal worries to the workplace has impacted their career progression.

The survey of 1,063 UK adults was carried out by FindOutNow and was commissioned by pirkx, the wellbeing benefits platform.

Commenting on the statistics, Founder and CEO of pirkx, Stella Smith, said “When we received this data, we were shocked. We knew anecdotally from pirkx customers that worries such as the cost of living were starting to eat into our ability to function during the working day, but this is a higher proportion than we expected. Whilst it’s true that this is about productivity at the level of the economy, we also need a bigger conversation about how we all struggle to balance personal issues while at work and the importance of having the right support around us to be able to ease the stress and allow people to focus on getting a work life balance.

Professor Trevor Williams, former Chief Economist at Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, said ‘’It should be remembered that the UK has experienced not one but three crises in the last 14 years. The 2008 global financial crash, the worst global Pandemic in 100 years, and now the biggest land war in Europe since 1945 that has led to the worst inflation in 40 years. So, it’s not surprising that people are worried.

“It’s also true that pirkx’s ability to offer affordable wellbeing programmes has been because of the technical revolution that’s ongoing too, which has been able to shrink the space between people and products and so come up with solutions which offer these products at much lower prices than in the past.

‘’Whilst this survey is a small sample of the population, it echoes the bigger picture shown by statistics on productivity for the UK, which is that it’s been feeble since 2008 because of low levels of business investment and poor labour productivity. While the causes are undoubtedly a complex issue, this survey gives valuable insights into some personal factors at play. Offering affordable help to people will help reduce their anxiety levels and perhaps help them succeed in the workplace.”

Simon Blake OBE, CEO of Mental Health First Aid England, said “Such a high proportion of people stating personal worries can have such a detrimental impact on their work lives, does not paint a good picture of mental health in the workplace. There will inevitably be a knock-on impact on day-to-day productivity, and the fact people feel it can hamper their career progression clearly needs to be tackled. Employers have a big role to play in addressing this. Wellbeing and productivity fuel one another so we need to create workplaces where people can bring their whole self to work. Teams are at their best when they feel safe and connected and that benefits people and business.”

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